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Henry Smith

Henry Smith: Our commitment to the environment

In his weekly article Henry talks about plastic waste and the environment.

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This week saw further action as part of plans to secure a Green Brexit upon this country’s departure from the European Union.

A consultation has been published on the Environmental Principles & Governance Bill. The legislation will ensure environmental protections will not be weakened as we leave the EU, as well as establishing a world-leading body to hold government to account for environmental outcomes.

This organisation will support the commitment for us to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than that in which we inherited it. It will also provide scrutiny and advice on the protection of landscapes, wildlife and natural assets, and would be able to hold government accountable on environmental legislation. Anyone looking to have their say in this consultation can click here to take part. Crawley residents would be most welcome to copy me in on any submission.

Earlier this year, a ban on the manufacture of products containing plastic microbeads, which can do serious damage to marine life, came into force. As a result of UK action, manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care items will no longer be able to add these pieces of plastic to ‘rinse-off’ products such as shower gels and toothpastes. This is an issue I’ve raised previously with the Prime Minister in the House of Commons and I welcome the Government’s attention.

Recently, the Environment Secretary announced plans for a deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates and reduce the volumes of waste polluting our land and seas.

Of the 13 billion plastic drinks bottles used each year by UK consumers, more than three billion are incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute our streets, countryside and marine environment.

A further change which we’ve noticed when doing the weekly shop is the 5 pence plastic bag charge. The result of this has been 9 billion fewer plastic bags used since the charge was introduced in 2015. Marine life around our shores is safer and there are fewer plastic bags going into landfill sites.

As a result of UK leadership on the global stage, last month’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London saw countries from around the world join the UK-led Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance. This agreement is being backed up with a £61 million package of funding to boost global research and help prevent plastic waste from entering the oceans in the first place.

There’s more to be done and I’ll continue to pursue the concerns of Crawley residents with the Government.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP asks, “Are you Crawley’s best small shop?”

The Best Small Shops competition is open to any small shop operating in the UK.

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Henry Smith MP is calling on Crawley’s small shopkeepers to enter the Best Small Shops competition, celebrating the creativity of small shops and the central role they play in their local community.

The Best Small Shops competition is open to any small shop operating in the UK. The competition is free to enter and all shops who enter will also be promoted to consumers through an online Indie Retail Directory.

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Shopkeepers can nominate their businesses until Sunday 9 September via: www.bestsmallshops.co.uk.

Henry said:

“The vital contribution of Crawley’s small shops can be celebrated in a national Best Small Shops competition.

“This initiative is being run by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and is open to any small shop operating in the UK.

“I’m calling on Crawley’s shopkeepers to nominate their businesses. More information, including on how to enter, is at: www.bestsmallshops.co.uk. Applications are open until 9th September.

“An expert judging panel will then put together a shortlist of 25 of the best applications. They’ll be looking for evidence of a small shops’ entrepreneurial spirit, ways they have been innovative in their business and what they have done to have a positive lasting impact on the local community.

“Shortlisted small shops will be invited to a parliamentary reception later in the year to find out which one will be crowned 2018’s Best Small Shop.

“Good luck to Crawley shops taking part!”

A shortlist of 25 of the most impressive applications will be compiled by a panel made up of established representatives from the independent retail industry.

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The judges will be looking for evidence of a small shops’ entrepreneurial spirit, ways that they have been innovative in their business and what they have done to have a lasting positive impact on their community.

The shortlisted small shops will be invited to a parliamentary reception in November to find out who will be crowned the Best Small Shop for 2018.

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